Let's Talk about the manager -- The John Farrell Thread

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JimBoSox9

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More and more as this series progresses, I'm getting less wound up about individual Farrell choices I disagree with and more appreciative of the magnitude of the problem he's trying to solve.  The bullpen in high-leverage 5th-6th-7th spots is a shambles and there's no one left he's willing to send out for a full inning, and quality ABs from the 5-6-7 slots with RISP have been elusive as a lot of the mid-range guys in the lineup went cold.  Breslow has probably been burned for the duration, and he doesn't seem willing to use Taz anymore in the Bardian role he held so well until his gopheritis.  Combined with the NL park, must-win games, and tight scores, this is a dog's dinner.  
 
I hated taking out Doobie Saturday, but that turned into critical innings last night.  I hated letting Workman hit, but understood wanting to steal one more inning from him; that's one I'm not going to hate just because it didn't produce the right outcome.  Often the logic behind the move hasn't been apparent until he lets the next couple ones chain out.  I didn't like how the lineup was laid out last night with Gomes #5, and...
 
I'd argue that, in terms of your players not performing according to the blueprint you've spent eight months outlining, Farrell has been handed one of the more difficult managerial challenges I've seen at this stage.  Usually when you play well enough to get to the WS you're not working with 2 starters, 1 reliever, and maybe 2.5 hitters you can count on.  He hasn't passed it in the 99th percentile, but he's passing with flying colors.  My biggest complaint has been that with some of these bullpen moves he doesn't have enough of an eye on what the bullpen usage will need to be for the rest of the game if the move blows up in his face, but I appreciate he may not have the luxury.
 
He's also been more than willing to admit you're kind of time-constrained making some of these decisions and mistakes may have been made, which is cool.  One thing I wonder about managers a lot is how often do we go looking for the logic behind a move when the real answer is "mistake".
 

JimD

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Rovin Romine said:
 
Only if we choose to forget his previous inter-league experience - 1 year with the Sox, 2 with the Jays.   And whatever he might have noticed as a pitching coach.  
 
Not that this excuses JF's mis-steps, but managing a playoff game and series is entirely different from regular-season managing. 
 

joe dokes

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Semi-philosophical question here that arises from the Doubront Game 3 decision. 
 
I think we all operate under the general premise that the regular season is the right place for thinking long-term in the sense of "we may have to avoid using this guy because its a long season" type of stuff.  And we correspondingly treat the playoffs as different. But is there a shade of playoff ball where its still OK to deal with the "long-term" at least in the context of a Series? 
 
Specifically, Farrell had a situation where Peavy had to come out & where he *knew,* as much as a manager could know, that his Game 4 starter would not be lasting much longer. In that context, now satisfied that Doubront can be effective against the Cardinals, is it OK to think "long-term" (i.e., Game 4), and keep Doubront's availability for Game 4 intact.  Trying not to let my general support for Farrell and hindsight cloud my judgment, but as of the 7th inning in Game 3, he's got a tie game and the best part of his bullpen rested, AND he has a shot at Doubront being able to piggy-back Buchholz. I understand why going for the throat and staying with the guy on a roll is a wise course, but how many times has a manager gone into the 7th inning of a Game 3 KNOWING that he was going to get another short outing from his starter tomorrow?
 
(This is built around the assumption that Dempster is not goign to sniff regulation time with the game-in-doubt.
 

selahsean

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JimBoSox9 said:
More and more as this series progresses, I'm getting less wound up about individual Farrell choices I disagree with and more appreciative of the magnitude of the problem he's trying to solve.  The bullpen in high-leverage 5th-6th-7th spots is a shambles and there's no one left he's willing to send out for a full inning, and quality ABs from the 5-6-7 slots with RISP have been elusive as a lot of the mid-range guys in the lineup went cold.  Breslow has probably been burned for the duration, and he doesn't seem willing to use Taz anymore in the Bardian role he held so well until his gopheritis.  Combined with the NL park, must-win games, and tight scores, this is a dog's dinner.  
 
I hated taking out Doobie Saturday, but that turned into critical innings last night.  I hated letting Workman hit, but understood wanting to steal one more inning from him; that's one I'm not going to hate just because it didn't produce the right outcome.  Often the logic behind the move hasn't been apparent until he lets the next couple ones chain out.  I didn't like how the lineup was laid out last night with Gomes #5, and...
 
He's also been more than willing to admit you're kind of time-constrained making some of these decisions and mistakes may have been made, which is cool.  I'd argue that, in terms of your players not performing according to the blueprint you've spent eight months outlining, Farrell has been handed one of the more difficult managerial challenges I've seen at this stage.  Usually when you play well enough to get to the WS you're not working with 2 starters, 1 reliever, and maybe 2.5 hitters you can count on.  He hasn't passed it in the 99th percentile, but he's passing with flying colors.  My biggest complaint has been that with some of these bullpen moves he doesn't have enough of an eye on what the bullpen usage will need to be for the rest of the game if the move blows up in his face, but I appreciate he may not have the luxury.

 
 
I agree with everything here.  He's had some questionable decisions no doubt, but like you said the enormity of the problem he's facing isn't appropriately appreciated.  
 

geoduck no quahog

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Anyone else here surprised at the huge number of posters in the Game Thread last night that didn't seem to understand the concept of double-switch?
 

Drek717

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Rudy Pemberton said:
It's still not clear if you are allowed to remove injured players from the WS roster, is it? Has it ever been done? I can't imagine you'd be allowed to replace your game 4 starter or else every team would do it.
The Cardinals did it after game 6 of the 2011 World Series, replacing Matt Holliday with Adron Chambers.
 
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/10/world-series-cards-replace-holliday-on-roster.html
 
That was for a bruise with significant swelling, and done after medical evaluation confirmed that it wasn't a break.  I think the Sox can make a pretty legitimate argument that they let Buchholz try and fight through it, but at this point fear for his long term career and would therefore DL him if he had last night's "stuff" in the regular season.  In fact, they pretty much did as his prolonged DL stint in the regular season was based on similar throwing discomfort when he still featured significantly more velocity.
 
I'd like to see them go with Britton as I think he's the kind of lefty the Cards would struggle with.  Breslow's LOOGY style repertoire of pitches built largely on the ball sweeping away from the batter has the Cards sitting inside waiting for him to hang one.  Meanwhile Lester and Doubront are using the whole plate and pounding the outside with hard fastballs when they have the Cards' lefties looking inside, and generating a lot of strikes as a result.  Britton can do that, while Thornton has a similar approach to Breslow with worse stuff.
 

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I haven't seen it from Napoli specifically but there are many first basemen that are uncomfortable playing behind the runner because it limits them from seeing the ball off of the bat.  This obviously has to be counterbalanced by the increased hole on the right side but that could have been in play here.
 

rajendra82

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Drek717 said:
The Cardinals did it after game 6 of the 2011 World Series, replacing Matt Holliday with Adron Chambers.
 
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/10/world-series-cards-replace-holliday-on-roster.html
 
That was for a bruise with significant swelling, and done after medical evaluation confirmed that it wasn't a break.  I think the Sox can make a pretty legitimate argument that they let Buchholz try and fight through it, but at this point fear for his long term career and would therefore DL him if he had last night's "stuff" in the regular season.  In fact, they pretty much did as his prolonged DL stint in the regular season was based on similar throwing discomfort when he still featured significantly more velocity.
 
I'd like to see them go with Britton as I think he's the kind of lefty the Cards would struggle with.  Breslow's LOOGY style repertoire of pitches built largely on the ball sweeping away from the batter has the Cards sitting inside waiting for him to hang one.  Meanwhile Lester and Doubront are using the whole plate and pounding the outside with hard fastballs when they have the Cards' lefties looking inside, and generating a lot of strikes as a result.  Britton can do that, while Thornton has a similar approach to Breslow with worse stuff.
 
Holliday was injured during a game in the World Series, so there was a legitimate case for him being taken off the Cardinals roster, and being replaced with another player.  We can't say the same thing about Buchholz.  If we ask to replace Victorino with Bradley due to the back injury, they will let us.  I don't think they will let us replace Buchholz, whose situation has not changed.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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lexrageorge said:
Of course, we've seen the same from opposing managers as well; Leyland with Scherzer; Matheny with Lynn last night, and with Kelly on Saturday night.  
Yeah, its not only Farrell with this problem.  I think you often end up with these guys outsmarting themselves because of the pressure they're under, combined with the different conditions of the post season compared with the normal 162 game grind.  They think they can do something "smart" to steal some outs or win a game that they should have lost and as often as not, the overmanaging blows up in their faces.
 
joe dokes said:
 
I get the quick hook complaint on Doubront in Game 3. But last night too? Its the first time he'd gone back to back in a couple of years. 57 pitches in consecutive games is enough for the manager to think that he might be losing it.
But he'd given up only one hit and had a lefty at the plate.  And the pitcher was due to hit in the next inning.  Taking him out brought in the Breslow gas can and then basically wasted Tazawa on one batter.  If Dubront gets Carpenter, Tazawa pitches the eighth and Koji the ninth.
 
It all worked in the end and maybe Lackey feels no after effects from his appearance.  But I'm not sure I buy that "it is his day to toss" is the same thing as "he needs to get three outs in a critical situation."
 

melonbag

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
 
Obfuscation? Holding Wong on first was a completely mystifying move with two outs. His run at the time meant nothing so you have to play back and guard the line - "no doubles" in other words. Farrell is trying to protect trade secrets here.
 
I was yelling at Farrell through the television when they were holding Wong at first.  It's as if Farrell mistakenly believed that he only had a one run lead.  Remarkably, the move worked perfectly, but I still hate the strategy.
 
If that move backfired, I would not want to have been in Farrell's shoes, especially after his strange decisions in game 3.
 

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JimBoSox9 said:
More and more as this series progresses, I'm getting less wound up about individual Farrell choices I disagree with and more appreciative of the magnitude of the problem he's trying to solve.  The bullpen in high-leverage 5th-6th-7th spots is a shambles and there's no one left he's willing to send out for a full inning, and quality ABs from the 5-6-7 slots with RISP have been elusive as a lot of the mid-range guys in the lineup went cold.  Breslow has probably been burned for the duration, and he doesn't seem willing to use Taz anymore in the Bardian role he held so well until his gopheritis.  Combined with the NL park, must-win games, and tight scores, this is a dog's dinner.  
 
Not to mention having your Game 3 and Game 4 starters only go four innings each.
 
The Sox caught some bad breaks at various times to be stuck in this spot, but the lack of bullpen depth is really glaring and ultimately could have been addressed by the FO in other ways.  Maybe its because the Cardinals have one of the deepest and best bullpens that I can remember in the playoffs, but it just seems like every game Farrell is desperately patching holes while Matheny is choosing from a wealth of riches.
 
I think the hope has to be that Lester gives us at least six, if not seven innings tonight and that Workman steps up if called upon, Doubront can give us that third quality guy out of the pen in Game 6, and then its all hands on deck in Game 7.
 

geoduck no quahog

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...and how different bullpen usage is in the NL versus the AL.
 
AL teams are structured around simpler matchups...and you don't need as many options.
 

Rovin Romine

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JimD said:
 
Not that this excuses JF's mis-steps, but managing a playoff game and series is entirely different from regular-season managing. 
 
 
So what?
 
The basic point is that Farrell was hired to steer two teams (3 seasons) into post-season play.  No guarantee you get there, but it's not like he was hired to manage the Astros and develop some young guys for 3-4 years.  
 
During that time, you'd think he *might* -just barely possibly might- give some thought to how to manage a "must win" series or a post season set of games.   He also *might* have, you know, like, practiced or something, to see how his various strategies might play out.  
 
Crazy damn thought I know.  I mean, most of us would take the responsible course and just ignore aspects of a "must win" post-season series, then hope to "learn when we got there."
 
**
I know you're not taking that stance, but JF has more defenders than his actual decisions warrant.  The man hasn't been a complete disaster, but by the same token he hasn't put his players or his team in a position to succeed.  
 
Granted, players have made bone headed moves and have failed to execute, but Farrell's use of the lineup, bench, bullpen - the areas where the manager has the most impact on the game - hasn't exactly been *optimal.*   And that's the problem in a nutshell.  
 

Drek717

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rajendra82 said:
 
Holliday was injured during a game in the World Series, so there was a legitimate case for him being taken off the Cardinals roster, and being replaced with another player.  We can't say the same thing about Buchholz.  If we ask to replace Victorino with Bradley due to the back injury, they will let us.  I don't think they will let us replace Buchholz, whose situation has not changed.
I agree that there is a good chance you get denied, but the Sox can make a pretty valid argument that given the length of time until the 4th game in the series they believed Buchholz might recoup, now that he's shown that he hasn't they don't consider him healthy enough to pitch again.  All I'm saying is that it's an argument worth making.
 

LostinNJ

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I'm inclined to give Farrell a pass on all of his mistakes -- they did not cost us the game. We don't know that the double switch in Game 3 would have yielded the desired outcome; we don't know if pinch-hitting Napoli for Workman would have led to a different result. We do know that the game was winnable if the players had executed: if Middlebrooks had been properly positioned to prevent the Holliday double, and if Saltalamacchia hadn't made a bad throw to end the game. Yes, different defensive personnel might (might) have avoided those mistakes, but you still have to expect that guys in their usual positions on the field will make ordinary plays and not make really dumb decisions. If Farrell put Napoli at third or Ortiz in center, you could blame him for any defensive miscues, but you can't blame him when guys don't do what they are supposed to be able to do.
 

LostinNJ

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melonbag said:
 
I was yelling at Farrell through the television when they were holding Wong at first.  It's as if Farrell mistakenly believed that he only had a one run lead.  Remarkably, the move worked perfectly, but I still hate the strategy.
Same here. I told my wife after the second out that Napoli would quit holding the runner because there was no value in a double play, and the next we knew, the game was over.
 

ricopetro6

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I thought I heard Farrell state that they were going over their defensive positioning when Wong got picked off and something about possibly guarding against a Beltran bunt?  Can anyone confirm this?  If true, I'm shocked because 2 pitched had already been thrown to Beltran. No way should have Nap been holding Wong on with 2 outs. I assumed they must have has some play on when Wong got picked, but that was not the case. 
 

Rovin Romine

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LostinNJ said:
I'm inclined to give Farrell a pass on all of his mistakes -- they did not cost us the game. We don't know that the double switch in Game 3 would have yielded the desired outcome; we don't know if pinch-hitting Napoli for Workman would have led to a different result. We do know that the game was winnable if the players had executed: if Middlebrooks had been properly positioned to prevent the Holliday double, and if Saltalamacchia hadn't made a bad throw to end the game. Yes, different defensive personnel might (might) have avoided those mistakes, but you still have to expect that guys in their usual positions on the field will make ordinary plays and not make really dumb decisions. If Farrell put Napoli at third or Ortiz in center, you could blame him for any defensive miscues, but you can't blame him when guys don't do what they are supposed to be able to do.
 
So, you'd be OK with Workman pinch hitting for Napoli?  I mean if Workman strikes out we wouldn't know if Napoli would have gotten a hit, right?
 

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Rovin Romine said:
 
So, you'd be OK with Workman pinch hitting for Napoli?  I mean if Workman strikes out we wouldn't know if Napoli would have gotten a hit, right?
They are not equivalent situations.  
 
Farrell admitted his mistake in not performing the double switch with Salty.  He did not repeat the mistake on Sunday; in fact, he managed Sunday's game about as well as he could given the cards he was dealt with.  As for the Workman at-bat, it was far from the only mistake other managers have made over the years.  Not defending Farrell, but I think it's time to move on from this.  
 

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Stan Papi Was Framed said:
ride Ross if at all possible. especially given his recent run with Lester.
Yeah, that's why I was thinking Game 6.  Ross is a clear starter for Game 5 given Lester is pitching, but I still feel better about Salty hitting then Ross (especially after a few days off to clear his head) against a RH and the bottom of the order is scuffling. 
 

koufax37

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Overall I am satisfied with the totality of John Farrell, and accept a fair number of head scratchers as a result.  He is a steady hand that players buy in to and trust, and on the flip side he lacks some of the Joe Maddon tinkering and game management, and certainly doesn't have a really good feel for no-DH adjustments (I think a fair amount of this should come from the bench coach and have him charged with presenting some details before it is too late for the manager to decide on).
 
Not double switching Ross when we brought in Workman in game 3 meant we had Workman hit in the 9th inning of a tie game (I understand not pinch hitting for him there once it got to that point), and had the negative of having your second best defensive catcher in the game for the 4-2-5-7-2 Double Play*.
 
Holding on a runner with one out and a powerful pull lefty at the plate does preserve the double play and help take away the drag bunt, but to me was really the wrong decision despite the very positive outcome.
 
Taking out Doubront I am on-board with.  He was doing great, but he hasn't pitched back to back days, had thrown a lot of pitches, and Farrell has a very good habit of making moves at positive points and not Lou Pineilla-ing a few batters too many on each change.  Plus Doubront has value in games 5-6-7, and wearing him out when Breslow should realistically be expected to perform very similarly doesn't bother me.
 
I LOVE Lackey for the 8th inning.  Over my pitching career I did the same a handful of times on my bullpen day, and never felt negative results.  The work load of full warmups and one inning are very similar to what a pitcher typically does on his work day, and while the intensity is certainly higher, I don't think that is a negative for what you will expect out of the pitcher three days later.  It was crucial to give him a clean inning to maximize his expected results and comfort level, and I fully expect him to have as good or better a chance of a scoreless frame as Taz.  It played out a little wierd with Taz throwing only a third of an inning, and I would have considered skipping Breslow and getting seven outs from team Japan, but I think the run expectancy here is pretty darn similar, and since you can only use Lackey in game 4, the result is getting to game 5 with a less taxed bullpen AND the win.
 
One side note is that I think Buchholz has more game 7 value than anybody we could replace him with.  His substitution was situational, and as a result his pitch count was kept very low.  Obviously making the adjustment from being effective at 94 to being effective at 87 is usually something a pitcher gets to figure out over a couple years, not a couple weeks.  But if he is able to continue to throw the ball how he did in the first four innings, I don't think he is far behind Peavy in his usefulness in an all hands on deck game 7.
 
And as for Ross, I'm happy to see him in there tonight.  I expect Farrell will go back to Salty for game 6 with Lackey, but I prefer Ross defensively, and I think that offensively he matches up well with Wacha.  But I also wouldn't be surprised if Salty runs into a Wacha changeup at some point, so think that Farrell's likely decision not to dog-house Salty is fine and shouldn't affect game 6 very much.
 

Return of the Dewey

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ricopetro6 said:
I thought I heard Farrell state that they were going over their defensive positioning when Wong got picked off and something about possibly guarding against a Beltran bunt?  Can anyone confirm this?  If true, I'm shocked because 2 pitched had already been thrown to Beltran. No way should have Nap been holding Wong on with 2 outs. I assumed they must have has some play on when Wong got picked, but that was not the case. 
If you look at replays, I believe that Ross called the pick off. Makes me think that it was something that they were at least looking out for. Also is another reason to keep Ross in starting lineup.
 

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LostinNJ said:
Same here. I told my wife after the second out that Napoli would quit holding the runner because there was no value in a double play, and the next we knew, the game was over.
 
Napoli said he was playing "no doubles" (on the line) defense, and figured why not hold the guy while he was at it.
 
Return of the Dewey said:
If you look at replays, I believe that Ross called the pick off. Makes me think that it was something that they were at least looking out for. Also is another reason to keep Ross in starting lineup.
 
Manager said Napoli and Koji did it on their own.
 

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LostinNJ said:
Same here. I told my wife after the second out that Napoli would quit holding the runner because there was no value in a double play, and the next we knew, the game was over.
 
No doubles defense and keeps a force at second intact.
 
Also, this was the scenario in my mind--you give Wong that free base and Beltran singles, and you have some OF throw home (I know they shouldn't, but you never know) and Beltran glides into second.
 

Sprowl

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What else was he to do? Blame Nava? It would be far superior if he didn't make such a rookie mistake in the first place, since we're told he's so prepared and considers things so deeply. 
 
That said, I had zero problem with using Lackey. He seems like he still has all his stuff at this point in the year and he was going to throw anyway. And color me pleasantly surprised Doubront pitched and pitched so well. I'd hope the plan for a potential game 7 includes an inning or two of Lester to help get from Peavy to Tazawa / Uehara.
 
Yes, it would be nice if none of the Red Sox made rookie mistakes. My point, however, is that by stepping up to take the blame in a visible and forthright way, he diverted attention from the mistakes made by Saltalamacchia and Middlebrooks, who caught some flak but less than they might have had not their manager shown that there were plenty of mistakes and been willing to share the blame.
 
Who tells you he's so prepared and such a deep thinker? Certainly not me -- Farrell has had a penchant for boneheaded decisions dating back to his days in Toronto, when he was often a step behind the opposing manager. Farrell's strength is in leadership, not tactics. Fortunately, Matheny seems equally prone to tactical errors and somewhat less effective at taking the pressure off his players.
 
Speaking of goats, Wong might be available for a cheap price in the offseason. He has certainly taken a beating in St. Louis.
 

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Lose Remerswaal said:
 
Napoli said he was playing "no doubles" (on the line) defense, and figured why not hold the guy while he was at it.
 
 
Manager said Napoli and Koji did it on their own.
 
The first part doesn't pass the smell test.  As mentioned, the "no doubles" defense has him positioned much further back down the line.  I can maybe believe that he made his preference known to hold the runner on (perhaps not comfortable playing back if shielded by the runner?), but I don't believe for a second that Farrell just let Napoli decide on his own how to position himself in that situation.
 
The second part I can buy.
 

ricopetro6

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Bucknahs Bum Ankle said:
 
The first part doesn't pass the smell test.  As mentioned, the "no doubles" defense has him positioned much further back down the line.  I can maybe believe that he made his preference known to hold the runner on (perhaps not comfortable playing back if shielded by the runner?), but I don't believe for a second that Farrell just let Napoli decide on his own how to position himself in that situation.
 
The second part I can buy.
it does seem strange.....you have to protect against a double there and Nap would be much deeper. Maybe the shift was on for Beltran and that had something to do with it...,but like I posted earlier, I did hear Farrell state something about they were going over the positioning during the at bat, but 2 pitches has already been thrown.  
 

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Not to forget also that management is a team which includes all of the very experienced coaches. Have I read that none of them have NL experience though? Tough to build a team for the AL and play 170 games under those rules and then play 3 games under a different set. Much easier for the NL team.

Managing question:

What's more advantageous in the NL park?

1. Starting the game with good defense and bringing in pinch hitters if the team is behind late, or...

2. Starting with best offense and fielding defensive substitutions if the team is ahead late...
 

Vjklander

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Paul M said:
Has to get credit for using Lackey--they basically had no one else. Splitting two games with back-to-back 4 inning outings from the starters is pretty tough. At the same time, I'm of the opinion you can't worry about the next game and pulling an effective Doubront still was questionable at best. Yes, Game 4 was going to require some deft bullpen managing, but you can almost see Game 4 as confirmation Game 3 was not managed well. But, all in all, a sign that Farrell is a quick study and is learning. And now he gets the next two nights to hopefully close it out with two guys that should at least get into the 6th.
Lackey suggested to Farrell that he would be willing to pitch an inning or two as part of his side-session.  I've wondered before why that isn't SOP all year.  If the guys is going to throw 35-50 pitches in a side session, why not do it in a game, maybe even pick up a win here and there .....
 

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Tazawa has pitched in every game of the postseason, except 2 & 4 of the ALCS. He's thrown from 2 to 24 pitches in his appearances, facing 1 to 5 batters, for 1 to 4 outs. He's been outstanding, but I believe Farrell's approach at this point is to have him available for 1-2 batters every single game, rather than 1 inning every other game.
 

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Drek717 said:
I agree that there is a good chance you get denied, but the Sox can make a pretty valid argument that given the length of time until the 4th game in the series they believed Buchholz might recoup, now that he's shown that he hasn't they don't consider him healthy enough to pitch again.  All I'm saying is that it's an argument worth making.
 
Since Buchholz actually pitched and was removed for a pinch hitter after allowing no runs, I do not think that MLB would allow the Sox to replace a starter who would not be expected to pitch again in the Series so they can get a fresh arm.  
 
Replacing a hitter who cannot go (for example Victorino) or if Buchholz  could not go last night then maybe they could pull it off.
 

Montana Fan

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Vjklander said:
Lackey suggested to Farrell that he would be willing to pitch an inning or two as part of his side-session.  I've wondered before why that isn't SOP all year.  If the guys is going to throw 35-50 pitches in a side session, why not do it in a game, maybe even pick up a win here and there .....
IIRC it is SOP for the Sox in the postseason. I don't have time to go through game logs but if memory serves they pitched starters on their side-session days in both the '04 and '07 postseasons.
 

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kieckeredinthehead said:
Tazawa has pitched in every game of the postseason, except 2 & 4 of the ALCS. He's thrown from 2 to 24 pitches in his appearances, facing 1 to 5 batters, for 1 to 4 outs. He's been outstanding, but I believe Farrell's approach at this point is to have him available for 1-2 batters every single game, rather than 1 inning every other game.
 
Tazawa appears to be the designated Holliday specialist. If it hadn't been for Middlebrooks' positioning and awkward dive on a groundball that turned into a double, Junichi would be 3 for 3.
 

Drek717

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Vjklander said:
Lackey suggested to Farrell that he would be willing to pitch an inning or two as part of his side-session.  I've wondered before why that isn't SOP all year.  If the guys is going to throw 35-50 pitches in a side session, why not do it in a game, maybe even pick up a win here and there .....
Probably a bit more risk involved.  Not only is it throwing 100% effort instead of say, 90% effort, but there is always the risk of a come backer.  You'd look pretty stupid as a manager getting one of your best starters hurt two days before his next start by using a side session to save your bullpen an inning.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Montana Fan said:
IIRC it is SOP for the Sox in the postseason. I don't have time to go through game logs but if memory serves they pitched starters on their side-session days in both the '04 and '07 postseasons.
 
In this instance, Lackey out-Pedro'd Pedro.
 
I don't recall a starter coming into a 2007 postseason game, but Beckett did sit in the bullpen in game 7 of the ALCS (wondering what to do, one of the reliever said).
 

bosockboy

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Sprowl said:
Tazawa appears to be the designated Holliday specialist. If it hadn't been for Middlebrooks' positioning and awkward dive on a groundball that turned into a double, Junichi would be 3 for 3.
And we are up 3-1 if he fields that ball.
 

smastroyin

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I'm way behind in this thread, but I am kind of on board with the idea that Doubront yesterday doesn't absolve his usage in Game 3.  I would rather they had closed that game out then worried about Game 4.  Obviously we have no idea what would have happened in that game if Breslow had not replaced Doubront but we do know what happened when he did.  
 
It is great to get a win out of two games where your starters only go 4 innings.  I mean, in aggregate it is great.  But winning the second one doesn't make the moves in the first one correct.  At the time of this particular decision, it was a tie game in the 7th in game 3 of a tied series.  Reserving Doubront because you might need him the next day ignores all kinds of things, including how Buchholz and Lynn might perform.  If Buchholz gives up 5 before you can take a breath, then you probably aren't winning game 4 anyway, even if you have Doubront available.  If the Sox are up 7-1 in the fifth because they teed off on Lynn, then you can try to limp through a couple innings with Dempster.  Etc.
 
I'm glad it worked out, really I am, but I don't think holding cards for game 4 while game 3 is still in reach is a move that gets absolved when you win game 4.  
 
All of that said, it's not really Farrell's fault, per se, that Breslow has been useless.  For all we know, he made the move because he thought Breslow was a better bet to get the outs in the seventh.  I pretty strongly disagree with that, and did then, but I can at least see it.
 

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geoduck no quahog said:
Not to forget also that management is a team which includes all of the very experienced coaches. Have I read that none of them have NL experience though? Tough to build a team for the AL and play 170 games under those rules and then play 3 games under a different set. Much easier for the NL team.

Managing question:

What's more advantageous in the NL park?

1. Starting the game with good defense and bringing in pinch hitters if the team is behind late, or...

2. Starting with best offense and fielding defensive substitutions if the team is ahead late...
 
So, I get that managing with a DH is easier to transition to, but on the other hand, it's probably harder on the NL team from a talent standpoint. AL teams are built to have an extra player you want batting but not fielding on any given night. NL teams are not. Although, this isn't terribly relevant in this series since the Cardinals currently have a DH on their roster.
 

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geoduck no quahog said:
Not to forget also that management is a team which includes all of the very experienced coaches. Have I read that none of them have NL experience though? Tough to build a team for the AL and play 170 games under those rules and then play 3 games under a different set. Much easier for the NL team.

Managing question:

What's more advantageous in the NL park?

1. Starting the game with good defense and bringing in pinch hitters if the team is behind late, or...

2. Starting with best offense and fielding defensive substitutions if the team is ahead late...
 
If you start the game with poor offense, you are less likely to get the less dominating middle relievers into the game.  And while I don't have stats to back this up, but I watched in horror as the "pitching and defense" M's got dismantled in the 2000 and 2001 ALCS's by the "swing the bat" Yankees. It's hard to defense a walk followed by a home run no matter how defensively gifted your team may be.
 
M

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I thought Farrell managed a marvelous game tonight, under the circumstances.
 
- Starting lineup, with Ross (obvious), Nava in RF (probably just as obvious) and Bogaerts higher up
- Sticking with Ross in the 7th
- Sticking with Lester into the 8th, but then pulling him for Koji when the odds of Koji getting the outs just started to creep a little higher than the odds of Lester getting the outs.  Lester was never in a jam, and the only time he was in a semi-jam (the 8th) they let him face Kozma just to reduce the wear on Koji.
- Not pulling Ortiz for Berry in the top of the 8th, which led to...
- The double-switch with Ortiz and Lester in the bottom of the 8th
- Sticking with Drew, who made some great plays look easy tonight (and one that wouldn't look easy no matter what, that incredible leaping grab of a liner), and also squared a ball right up and hit the sac fly in the 1st.
 
He never got an AB for Napoli (no great opportunities though) or Carp (probably just as well), but those are scant criticisms compared to the very-fair criticisms of game 3.
 
I think RR severely underrates him.  He's no Playoff Tito, but he'll outmanage most opposing managers on in-game tactics.
 

smastroyin

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The sac fly was yesterday. Drew did however have the important bb in the seventh.

I'm glad he didn't pinch hit Lester but I think he should have let him pitch to Myers. Myers doesn't hit lefties and Lester is no Craig Breslow. At least he went right to ue though.
 

Paul M

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It would have been very interesting if it was 1-1 and Lester's spot came up. From what I gather, sounds like Lester was staying in regardless. Like I said, it could have been one of those all-time debates given what was lurking in the pen with Rosenthal and Martinez to a lesser extent. Giving away a rally at that point would have been tough, though defensible. I think the effects of Games 3 and 4 also would have factored in there.
 
Uehara came in at the right time, imo, given Uehara's career performance vs. LHB. Adams is one of those guys that's helpless against that split/change.
 

smastroyin

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It would have been very interesting if it was 1-1 and Lester's spot came up. From what I gather, sounds like Lester was staying in regardless. Like I said, it could have been one of those all-time debates given what was lurking in the pen with Rosenthal and Martinez to a lesser extent. Giving away a rally at that point would have been tough, though defensible. I think the effects of Games 3 and 4 also would have factored in there.
 
Uehara came in at the right time, imo, given Uehara's career performance vs. LHB. Adams is one of those guys that's helpless against that split/change.


If Ross makes an out it does become interesting. Would a PH have brought a specialist? Obviously anything is better than Lester but Carp vs siegrist or Choate doesn't inspire a ton of confidence either.

I'm amazed one of those guys wasn't in for Ellsbury though.
 

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Yeah, my two thoughts about that game are:
 
1) Ross really let Farrell off easy by hitting that double. It would have been a really tough decision on Lester, but only because they have no bullpen depth and keep getting killed in the 6th/7th innings.
 
2) The other play of the game, in my opinion, was the take by Drew on 1-2. It was a curve just off the outside corner, and he had already gotten so many strikeouts on exactly that pitch in this game. Wainwright tried to be too fine on the following two pitches, and Drew walked. That turned the inning from speed bump to full on jam, and everything else followed.
 

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Noah said:
Yeah, my two thoughts about that game are:
 
1) Ross really let Farrell off easy by hitting that double. It would have been a really tough decision on Lester, but only because they have no bullpen depth and keep getting killed in the 6th/7th innings.
 
2) The other play of the game, in my opinion, was the take by Drew on 1-2. It was a curve just off the outside corner, and he had already gotten so many strikeouts on exactly that pitch in this game. Wainwright tried to be too fine on the following two pitches, and Drew walked. That turned the inning from speed bump to full on jam, and everything else followed.
 
Drew put a good swing on him earlier in the game,which probably influenced Wainwright's nibbling. Good thing happen to hitters who put good swings on pitches, even if during a successive AB.
 

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Noah said:
Yeah, my two thoughts about that game are:
 
1) Ross really let Farrell off easy by hitting that double. It would have been a really tough decision on Lester, but only because they have no bullpen depth and keep getting killed in the 6th/7th innings.
 
2) The other play of the game, in my opinion, was the take by Drew on 1-2. It was a curve just off the outside corner, and he had already gotten so many strikeouts on exactly that pitch in this game. Wainwright tried to be too fine on the following two pitches, and Drew walked. That turned the inning from speed bump to full on jam, and everything else followed.
No kidding. Watching that replay of Ross' double, it was about a foot fair, maybe less. Talk about karmic payout from Pedey's long foul that just missed in Fenway. A few good hits can make a manager look like a genius, but Ross already had a hit in the game and was quite the cool cat.
 
M

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smastroyin said:
Believe it or not I had mike Myers (LOOGY extraordinaire) on the brain.
 
With the way Adams batted, it might as well have been Mike Myers at the plate.  And maybe that's unfair to Myers - he did at least put the ball in play when he batted for NYY in 2007 (in one of two career PAs), more than we can say for Adams.
 

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It would be a worthy SOSH debate to talk about what to do if

Lester's spot comes up with the score tied 1-1, the bases jacked with Xander, Drew and Ross - one out

Lester's spot with Xander on 3rd, either one or two outs

I'd guess that you'd need to ph with the go ahead run on 3rd and less than 2 outs.

Otherwise, leave him in the game.
 
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